The Vancouver food scene is very much based on fads. One second this restaurant could be the hippest thing in town and you have to wait an hour just to get a table, and two months later it can be completely forgotten. While I’m not saying Ta Bom will be like that (I’m all for local small businesses!), the amount of buzz this Korean restaurant is generating on Instagram is insane. So much that I would say this easily is the newest, coolest restaurant of the moment.
Ta Bom Korean Cuisine is located just doors from Jimoco Pasta on Austin Avenue (Coquitlam). There is very little parking at the front so just beware.
I came with a party of four at 5:45pm and were told it would be an hour wait (I know right?!). Since we were hyping ourselves up for the dinner, we didn’t want to leave and compiled to the hour long wait. The restaurant is kind of small and probably seats up to 30 people max.
Their most famous item is the Hot Plate, but aside from that they also serve Korean Hot Pots which a lot of people ordered in addition to the hot plate.
Pretty much every single table had one of these hot plates and it’s their signature item. I chose the Stir Fried Spicy Baby Octopus and Pork Hot Plate ($15/per person) which comes with a mixture of octopus, pork, onions, green onions, taro, dukbokki, cabbage, and gochujang (spicy red pepper paste) and added Cheese ($5) and Fried Rice ($3).
As you can see, the spicy mixture is all in the middle hot grill plate and the corn, egg, and cheese mixture is on the side. This whole pan gets heated up on a grill so everything cooks nice and evenly.
Like all Korean restaurants, they also offer banchans which are Korean side dishes along with your meal. They are refillable. 🙂
Just so you know, ever since my student exchange to Korea four years ago, I’ve been searching for a restaurant in Vancouver that serves up authentic hot plates like this. Specifically a grill plate with corn, cheese, and egg on the side (IT MAKES THE DISH. TRUST ME GUYS.). It’s the most delicious thing ever and you’ve just got to try it.
If you can’t handle spicy, DON’T GET THIS! This particular hot plate will get you sweating, as it did for me and my friends. But if you like spicy, oh you will enjoy this heat inferno of a meal.
In addition to the hot plate, we got a Galbi Tang to share. Galbi Tang is essentially beef rib soup that’s very light and it’s to be eaten with steamed rice. It was good and balanced out the spiciness of the other dish.
After we finished our pork and octopus mixture, we were left with a big puddle of leftover spicy sauce on the pan. This is when we called over the waiter and asked for the fried rice option. She brought over a bowl of steamed white rice, seaweed, and sesame oil, and stir fried it at our table into our sauce.
What you end up with is a fried rice that’s so bad for you but is just oh so good. The rice is pretty spicy though since it absorbed all the sauce you tried to avoid when eating the meat and octopus so just beware again. All in all, this meal was the bomb and every component of the experience was on par with the local joints I tried in Seoul. I’ll definitely keep on coming back and hopefully if it grows more popular, they’ll open one up closer to Vancouver or Richmond!
Service Rating: 3/5
Food Rating: 5/5 ( I could be biased here because I love this stuff)
Overall Rating: 4.5/5